I, like many fans of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, have our own ideas of how things sort of work in the TTSCC timeline(s) we’ve been given. Understandably, we have scenes or stories that we’d like to see. Usually, they never happen because we aren’t privvy to the creative plans of the creative staff. This doesn’t mean that we are bound to suffer in silence. I’ve been a part of many fandoms going back to the original Star Trek series, and I’ve never known the imaginative fans to keep quiet about what they are thinking. Given the pieces of fanfic I’ve written in the past, I think it’s safe to say that I’m part of that not-keeping-quiet group.
[WARNING: Should staffers connected with TTSCC be reading this, your legal department will probably want you to abandon this blog now (not that I’d know one way or the other). Creative scenes will be outlined or written below. Frankly, I’d don’t care if you see them or not, but I don’t want you to get into trouble if you do. I’ll view it as a happy coincidence that I stumbled upon anything that has popped up in your meetings.]
So, instead of being all dry and texty as usual, I’m going to revert back to the writing form I’m happiest using: the screenplay. Please, don’t expect anything even remotely good…I haven’t written in this form in years, and like anything else it takes practice to maintain one’s skills.
John and Cameron Parting
One of the things that really fascinates me is the relationship future-John had with Cameron before she chronoported to directly help now-John. There are many ways that this could go, all of which I find entertaining. This is a scene that’s sort of an amalgam of several ideas mix-mastered together. It would be the last, or nearly the last, time that future-John and Cameron would be together.
INT. RESISTANCE HQ FUTURE-JOHN stares at plans as the sound of BATTLE filters into his darkened planning room. CAMERON enters. FUTURE-JOHN Did the reinforcements arrive? CAMERON I don't know. There was an explosion in the tunnel. I couldn't get through. Future-John stares at Cameron. Cameron is confused as to why. CAMERON I could try again, but the probability of-- FUTURE-JOHN No. No, don't worry about it. If they didn't make it, there's nothing we can do about it. Cameron unloads some equipment, but stays armed and alert. FUTURE-JOHN If things go south-- CAMERON Go south? FUTURE-JOHN If things go badly. If they get through to our position, I want you to go ahead with what we discussed. CAMERON I still don't agree that it will be helpful. FUTURE-JOHN Maybe not. But I can't be fighting Skynet and rebel factions, too. Something went wrong. Something's different now from what the timeline was before. You need to fix it. CAMERON Fix it. FUTURE-JOHN As soon as you go back, the future will change. You weren't with me when I was younger in this timeline. Get me through to J-Day. Try to take down Skynet. CAMERON How? Future-John SLAMS his fist onto the table. FUTURE-JOHN I don't know! (calmer) I don't know. You will have to use your best judgment. Cooperate with my mother and...me, but don't let them order you around. They won't understand what's at stake, so you don't have to follow orders from them. The room shakes from a too close EXPLOSION. FUTURE-JOHN Promise me you'll do this. CAMERON I promise. John moves closer and ambiguously touches Cameron's arm or shoulder. FUTURE-JOHN I wish we could finish this together, but you need to teach me the things I didn't know soon enough. If you can't stop J-Day, then make sure I'm ready. CAMERON I promise.
John, Derek, Cameron, And Some Truth
In this second sequence, which is sort of a follow-on to the previous scene, I’m addressing the fact that John has two supposed allies from the future—neither of whom is giving him any useful intelligence or corroborating those few items that do get said. Hell of a way to plan a resistance movement, if you ask me.
EXT. CONNOR HOUSE - DAY DEREK stands like a reproachful father as JOHN parks in the driveway. DEREK What do you think you're doing? JOHN About? DEREK We need to find those weapons. JOHN Cameron said that-- DEREK How many times do I have to tell you. She's one of them. She-- JOHN Stop. John glares. JOHN Not out here. INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY John strides into the house, with Derek not far behind. JOHN Cameron! Will you meet us in the living room? Derek manages to look angry and confused at the same time. CAMERON comes down the stairs. CAMERON John? What's wrong? JOHN You two, here on the couch. I've had it. Cameron and Derek eye each other. Cameron goes to the couch and sits to one side. JOHN Derek? DEREK You're wasting-- JOHN No, I'm done wasting time. Sit down, Derek. Derek reluctantly sits on the opposite end as Cameron. JOHN Today we stop treating me like a brainless puppet. You two know each other in the future, and you two know me in the future. If you really want to help me, stop playing these mind games and just fill me in. Why did I really send you both back? What things did I do wrong? What did I do right? If I know, then maybe we really can change the future. Otherwise, I'm just guessing like I was after every other time I sent back help. Cameron and Derek both think about it for a moment. DEREK Long story short? You started make pets out of-- CAMERON You died. SILENCE JOHN What? CAMERON You died. Just before I came back. We agreed that if that happened, I'd go back in time to try to fix things. Derek is a little stunned. JOHN How did I die? CAMERON In an explosion. The forces loyal to you were fighting Skynet and the rebellion in a battle at your chronoportation site. We lost. DEREK Who's "we"? CAMERON John. Me. The resistance. We lost. JOHN (to Derek) Is that right? CAMERON He wasn't there. He had been sent back a year and twenty-three days before. DEREK (to Cameron) Isn't that convenient? (to John) We were winning the war, John, before you started all of this. Before the time travel. Before you started thinking the enemy could be made into allies. We were winning. CAMERON No. Skynet had positioned itself for inevitable victory. Derek SNORTS derisively. JOHN I didn't start the time travel. Skynet did when it sent back the terminator to kill my mother. I had no choice but to send back someone to protect her. CAMERON Kyle Reese. JOHN And as for reprogramming terminators to-- CAMERON (realization) Kyle Reese was your father. Oops... Cat. Bag. Out. JOHN --to aid in the fight, I'd have died years ago if I hadn't done that. Derek rises. DEREK You can't trust them. They-- JOHN I can't? Really? You've been totally honest with me and my mother? DEREK John, you need to not get off-- JOHN Tell him. CAMERON For a least the past three months you have been having sexual relations with another resistance fighter from the future named Jesse-- DEREK You've been following me? JOHN Apparently, I had reason. DEREK (pointing at Cameron) It lies. It lies all the time. You don't know. JOHN She also tried to kill me. Cameron reacts. JOHN But I expected more from you. If we are all in it for me, and for humanity, I suggest that you both start filling me in on those things I need to know before the bombs start falling. So, Derek, please sit down and let's get serious about saving the world.
And I think that’s more than enough for now. Don’t want to go too nuts with committing random acts of screenplay. But like I said, it gets frustrating when things that should logically be done in plot revelation aren’t done because the writers are afraid that if they pay it off they won’t have any exciting new ideas to create new mysteries. I think it’s a tactic that soon leads to diminishing returns, but then again I’m here and they’re there. What do I know?